TOPO Via ferrata
■ S tarting point: Broto, Sobrarde, Aragon, Spain
■ Type of route: via ferrata with passage through a gallery
■ Direction: east then southeast
■ Length: 600 m
■ Elevation gain: +125 m
■ Estimated total time: 2h to 3h
■ Min and max altitude: 900 m / 1070 m
■ Equipment in place: rungs, nails, ladders, one of which is huge
■ Equipment required: standard equipment, headlamp if necessary
Difficulty: K3 or AD, fairly vertiginous vertical ladder
Access to the place
Map & topo
Hiking to the start 10'
From the parking lot, walk along the torrent, following the signs to Cascade del Sorrosal on the left. It's obvious, and you can see the waterfall in the distance. Cross the stream in front of the waterfall to find the start of the via ferrata a little further up.
The via ferrata, opened in 2004, faces south-east. The equipment is very good and varied. No real difficulty, apart from the impressive height of the series of ladders leading up to the large waterfall. Note that the ferrata is not free in high season (€2.5, apparently).
Part 1: the waterfall
Climb up to the left of the waterfall on terrain that alternates between rock and grassy slopes. Bars, chains, nails and even a small carved wooden ladder (!) take us through a wide arc to the side of the waterfall, at the foot of an impressive vertical ladder. A 25m ascent takes us high above the waterfall basin, and after several ladder changes, we land on a ledge at the entrance to a gallery cut into the cliff. The passage through the old mine is made by headlamp, with, depending on the season, a stream of water sliding beneath our feet. Exit through a small wooden door and enter above the upper spillway.
Part 2: the gorges
It's very beautiful! We pass to the left and then to the right of the torrent, which forms magnificent pools of turquoise water. Depending on the season, the flow can be strong and impressive. Nothing difficult though, just a small bridge to change sides, easy crossings at the water's edge, just for the pleasure of your eyes and ears. On the way up, you reach the last big waterfall, which you cross on the right (left bank). Here, above, the torrent flows more peacefully before emptying into the gorge. It's more open and, with the vegetation, wild and enchanting.
Part 3: the fajas
From here, take a sharp right, almost backwards, into the shrubbery. The path is equipped with ropes, then there's a length with rungs to finally climb a sort of rocky ridge. We've gained altitude and the village appears at the very bottom. This ends in a forest on what appears to be the mountain crest. An undulating forest passage before finding the last equipped passages on a wide traverse over a series of ledges that give an aerial view of the valley and the village. A final spur and a few more switchbacks lead to a viewpoint overlooking the waterfall. You can even appreciate the route you've just taken.
Continue backwards through the forest. The imposing Ordesa cirque can be seen in the distance. Cross a large, flat clearing and, after a few minutes' walk, there are signs for the return path, which winds its way down to Broto.